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Olympics chief Payne recalls Gainesvilles desire for games
Atlanta Olympic director Billy Payne receives a T-shirt from Steve Gilliam of Gainesville Hall ’96 at the dedication and groundbreaking of the Lake Lanier venue in February 1995.
When Billy Payne, Atlanta’s Olympic architect, looks back on his crowning achievement from 20 years ago, one of the bright spots is Gainesville’s participation in the Centennial Games. “Without exception, the back and forth with the organizers in Gainesville and us at ACOG was the best of all relationships we had,” Payne, who was head of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, said in a recent phone interview. “They were 100 percent committed.